Professor Noel Fitzpatrick treats a young Spaniel called Parker who has severe arthritis in both hips. Parker has suffered from hip problems since he was a puppy and has never been able to live life to the full like his brother Cooper. He is also overweight due to the struggle he has with exercising his hip. Parents Sara and Jason seek advice from Fitzpatrick Referrals and soon learn that the procedure is not as straight forward as they thought

Their Story

Parker lives with his brother and best friend Cooper, along with their mum Sara and dad Jason. Parker and Cooper are best friends and are always chasing each other around in the fields.

The Problem

At only 16 months old Parker is suffering from severe arthritis in both hips. His condition is so bad that Sara and Jason have turned to Fitzpatrick Referrals in the hope that they can give him a good quality of life.


Having already received a consultation from Dr Miguel Solano, Parker was referred to Noel for two Total Hip Replacements. Noel performs more than 120 total hip replacements a year so these operations are quite common at Fitzpatrick Referrals, but as Parker is a bit of a foodie and loves a biscuit, the extra pounds he’s piled on were not helping the situation. His young age is also a cause for concern with a risk of fracturing his growing pelvis during the procedure. Total hip replacement involves replacing the entire hip joint surface, and as the surgery involves using a metal cup implant to resurface the socket of the pelvis, there’s a high risk of fracturing the bone when the cup is positioned.

During surgery, Noel discovered that Parker didn’t have very much bone around his hip socket relative to his body size and that his pelvis was too soft and small - it would easily fracture when fixing a metal cup into place. The team were forced to change direction and alternate with a cemented cup that allowed for a more fluid insertion. This proved extremely challenging, as the cement would dry within minutes and the slightest slip can be disastrous. Noel only had a few minutes to perfect it. No matter how many total hip replacements are done, there are never certainties in the operating room and no two patients are the same.

Following his second total hip replacement several weeks later which thankfully faced no complications, Parker had a course of hydrotherapy to build the strength in his hips.


Months later and Parkers life has transformed. For the first time in his life, Parker is able to enjoy the quality of life that he deserves and is sprinting around in the fields with a spring in his step alongside his brother Cooper. His weight problems have drastically improved too and he’s even managed to keep away from the digestive biscuits!